KENNESAW, GA February 19, 2021 – UpSwell Marketing, a marketing firm that specializes in helping gyms expand their member base, today shared insights from their fitness consumer research, delving into consumer behavior in the fitness industry.

Based on responses from 1,000 U.S. consumers, the fitness consumer survey uncovers the factors considered by a consumer when deciding which gym to join and when to go back during these unprecedented times. These factors include cost, type of gym, distance, advertising influence, and timing.

“The combination of gyms reopening, vaccination rollouts, growing consumer optimism and people simply missing the community of going into a gym leads to perfect timing for gyms to start marketing again,” said Nelson Rodenmayer, SVP of Sales and Marketing, UpSwell. “Gym owners have a huge opportunity to grab market share of consumers that were left without a gym due to the amount of businesses that had to close their doors. Owners need to understand not only how consumers are deciding which gyms to join but also their concerns so they can set themselves up to succeed.”

Insights from the UpSwell research include:

Consumers are excited to go back to gyms – Even though home workouts have become popular, a lot more consumers than expected prefer to work out in a gym

  • 40% of consumers prefer to workout at a gym (vs. 60% who prefer to workout at home or outdoors)
  • 17.3% of consumers want to get back to the gym as soon as possible
  • 80.4% of consumers are open to going back to the gym (vs. 19.6% that said they would never go back)

COVID-19 is still on consumers’ mind – Cases may be decreasing, but consumers are still concerned about their health and safety

  • 22.5% of consumers are waiting for the vaccine to rollout to more people before deciding if they will be returning to the gym
  • 46.8% of consumers said that sanitation is one of the deciding factors of choosing which gym to join
  • The good news is that 26.7% of consumers said that extra safety precautions would motivate them to return to the gym

Value, Convenience, and Sanitation are the most important factors to consumers – Clubs that are able to market what consumers want are the ones that are going to come out on top

  • The top five most influential advertising channels were (participants could choose multiple answers):
  1. Word of mouth (61.8%)
  2. Social Media (33.2%)
  3. Google (24.2%)
  4. Direct Mail (14.2%)
  5. TV (14.1%)
  • The average consumer is willing to pay $35 for a monthly gym membership
  • The average consumer would drive up to 15 minutes to go to the gym
  • 25% of consumers would be motivated to go back to the gym if there was a price promotion

The fitness consumer survey was completed through Survey Monkey’s Survey Panel. The survey was fielded Feb. 10 – Feb. 11, 2021 among 1,000 people between the ages of 25 – 54 who exercise at least once a month. To learn more about this study, reach out to

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About UpSwell Marketing

UpSwell serves independent and franchise businesses whose growth is based on their ability to attract customers from their local communities. We help drive the maximum number of customers for the 10,000 businesses we serve through data-driven, hyper-local digital and print marketing solutions. The full-service marketing agency has been serving clients since 2008 and has executed more than 150,000 successful campaigns. For more information visit

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